The Thanksgiving dinner inflation: By the numbers

This year, your turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie will gobble up even more of your food budget — 22 percent more for the bird alone

A 16-pound turkey will cost $21.57 this year, an increase of nearly $4 from last year's price, according to a new survey.
(Image credit: Image Source/Corbis)

It's almost Turkey Day. And this year, your bird will cost 22 percent more than 2010's, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual survey of Thanksgiving foodstuffs. The (admittedly unscientific) results were calculated based on the prices paid by 141 volunteer shoppers in 35 states. Here, a guide to the Thanksgiving dinner inflation, by the numbers:


Cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people last year, according to the survey

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Cost of the same meal this year. That 13 percent increase is the biggest since 1990. "A dinner for 10 at under $5 a head is still a bargain," the Farm Bureau's John Anderson says.


Cost of the meal in 1986


Cost of a 16-pound turkey in 2010


Cost of a 16-pound turkey this year


Percent increase in the cost of turkeys since last year. "Turkey prices are higher this year primarily due to strong consumer demand both here in the U.S. and globally," says a senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.


Cost of a gallon of whole milk in 2010


Cost this year, a 13 percent increase


Cost of 30 ounces of pumpkin pie mix in 2010


Cost this year, a 16 percent increase


Average price of a gallon of unleaded gas around Thanksgiving 2010


Average price this year, about an 18 percent increase. "You have to love it when you have gas up nearing 20 percent and the cost of turkey up over 22 percent," says Jon C. Ogg at 24/7 Wall St.

Sources: 24/7 Wall St, American Farm Bureau Federation, BloombergBusinessweek, Consumerist, Los Angeles,

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